Five general contractors bid on the school bond construction and remodeling project this week, with the lowest bid coming in at approximately $10.2 million, about $600,000 less than the estimated cost.

Brookings-Harbor School District Superintendent Paul Prevenas, along with members of the School Bond Review and Oversight Committee, opened the sealed bids on Thursday.

General contractors were asked to bid on two separate packages. Package A was the big project and Package B was the Fern Street sidewalk improvements.

The apparent low bidder for Package A was Ramsay-Gerding Construction Company of Corvallis at $10,212,500.

The other bidders included Slayden Construction Inc., of Arcata, Calif., at $10.5 million; Mallcraft Inc., of Arcata, at $11.7 million; and S.D. Deacon, General Contractor of Portland at $12 million.

The low bidder for Package B was John Rapraeger, Inc., of Brookings, at $124,502. The other four companies bid on Package B, but came in about $20,000 higher.

andquot;The apparent low bidder for Package A looks really good for us,andquot; Prevenas said. He was pleased that a Brooking company came in with the lowest bid on Package B.

The bid by Brookings-based John Rapraeger Inc. not only beat that submitted by the other firms, it was less than two bids made last fall for the same work, Prevenas said.

At that time, the school board decided to wait and re-bid the Fern Street sidewalk project in hopes of getting a lower bid in the spring.

andquot;That idea obviously turned out to work very well for us,andquot; Prevenas said.

The contracts will not be awarded to the low bidders immediately, he said. It will take several days for the district's architect and project manager to review the bids carefully for any possible error, omission or flaw, Prevenas said.

andquot;This does happen, in which case the next lower bidder would be in line,andquot; he said.

The next step is to bring a recommended bidder to the school board for final approval. This will likely happen during a special meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Construction on the projects is expected to begin as soon as school ends May 30.